The report, released Tuesday, accuses the city of not holding Anchor accountable for problems and reforming treatment protocols for patients in urgent need.
“Anchor failed to provide the necessary community based services to assist Mr. Louis in maintaining a safe and stable lifestyle,” the report said, and was not available when Louis was in crisis. ULS is calling for public hearings “to learn from the incident and explore how to prevent future deaths.”
City mental health officials dispute the report. In a statement, they promised to work with the advocacy group “to identify any changes that improve services.”
A spokesman for Catholic Charities, Erik Salmi, said the report “contains a number of material misstatements of fact and draws conclusions that are simply unsupported by what actually occurred.”
In a separate statement, Anchor said ULS unfairly blames the contractor when other health providers had been in charge of Louis’s care in the six months before his death.
On June 14, 2011, Louis’s landlord called an Anchor caseworker saying that he was “acting bizarre, yelling and screaming periodically day and night.” The counselor called the health department’s Mobile Crisis Services, an emergency team that helps police deal with mentally ill patients. The team responded to the 1600 block of Irving St. NW, where Louis had lived since the early 1970s.
Initial attempts to take Louis to a psychiatric facility resulted in a police officer being stabbed with a sharpened screwdriver. Louis barricaded himself in his bathroom. More than three hours later, a tactical officer who stormed the apartment opened fire.
Louis’s brother, Jean Alix Louis, complained that top city, police and Anchor officials never reached out to him after his brother was killed — although the caseworker did, apologizing and promising to investigate the shooting but then never calling back.
“Nobody called me to apologize,” Jean Alix Louis said in an interview. “Nobody gave me a concrete answer to anything. “
ULS complained in its report that D.C. police, as well as the health department and Anchor, refused to release many documents, limiting its investigation.
The group said in the report that it was unable “to address important questions about police actions, and in particular, about their ability to use best practices to deescalate encounters with individuals in psychiatric distress.”